Building Workers' Party Youth: A Leaders Handbook
Organisation: Workers Party Youth
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document

Please note:  The Irish Left Archive is provided as a non-commercial historical resource, open to all, and has reproduced this document as an accessible digital reference. Copyright remains with its original authors. If used on other sites, we would appreciate a link back and reference to The Irish Left Archive, in addition to the original creators. For re-publication, commercial, or other uses, please contact the original owners. If documents provided to The Irish Left Archive have been created for or added to other online archives, please inform us so sources can be credited.

Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

15th July 2019

This ‘Leaders’ Handbook’ for Workers Party Youth dates from 1987. In a full 34 pages it covers a range of issues from ‘Where to Start’, ‘Running a Youth-Group’, ‘Financing a Youth-Group’, ‘Running a Campaign’, ‘Publicity’, ‘Speaking in Public’ and ‘Useful Addresses’ for both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The Introduction outlines the purpose of the pamphlet, noting that:

…it is to give youth officers, leaders of youth-groups and youth members in general, some ideas and practical information on setting up and running a youth-group. The task of building a progressive youth movement, involving working class youth, is one which is vital to the future our Party, our class and socialism in Ireland. We long ago recognised that young people have their own interests, needs and level of commitment, and that therefore we need a youth movement to cater for them.


The ideology of Capitalism, of the ruling class is the dominant one in our society. Its values and ideas are spread throughout the educational system, and a myriad of other agencies and organisations legitimise this position in society.

It is not surprising therefore that most young people form working class areas leave school with no real understanding of the world around them. They have not got the conceptual tools to even start asking he right questions about the world, never mind come up with the right answers.

It continues:

Hopefully it is clear form these brief comments that our movement should be primarily educational, with agitation taking second place. We must seek to develop a range of activities and a style of work that will build young working class people’s confidence in themselves , get them to participate in organising things, give them the tools to assess and analyse their society and world.

It outlines the structures and orientation of such approaches:

The best term to describe the sort of youth-groups we should aim for is ‘political youth clubs’. A type of youth organisation that, unlike the traditional youth club, take the development of young people that one logical step further, into politics, into gaining control over their lives. Youth groups that deal not just with the concerns fo the individual but also the collective, and see the solution to the problems young people face in terms of collective action.

The relationship between the youth movement and the Party is a very important one. The youth movement, while it must lead its own existence, is ultimately under the political direction of the Party.

More from Workers Party Youth

Workers Party Youth in the archive


No Comments yet.

Add a Comment

Formatting Help

Comments can be formatted in Markdown format . Use the toolbar to apply the correct syntax to your comment. The basic formats are:

**Bold text**
Bold text

_Italic text_
Italic text

[A link](
A link

You can join this discussion on The Cedar Lounge Revolution

  • By: Tomboktu Mon, 15 Jul 2019 06:16:34

    Very interesting about the contents. But the real question is: where are the young people in the cover photograph today?

    Reply on the CLR

  • By: WorldbyStorm Mon, 15 Jul 2019 07:48:29

    In reply to Tomboktu.

    They’re not so young – that’s for sure

    Reply on the CLR